Model unit ready at downtown loft project
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Much of the ARCO Building’s second floor is still a gutted, dark cavern.
But open a door facing Cincinnati Avenue and you’ll step into a living space straight out of chic areas in huge cities.
The two-bedroom condo, finished this week, is the first of 72 units in the building’s conversion to luxury downtown living under the 119 Downtown name.
Jim Hawkins, head of River City Development, announced the conversion project at Sixth Street and Cincinnati in May. And since the building doesn’t have warehouse or art deco features found in other downtown living conversions, Hawkins said the architecture of the six-story, 133,000-square-foot building dictates more modern designs.
“We’ve got a clean, sharp look that’s currently not seen in Tulsa but you’d find in New York or Los Angeles,” he said.
Construction on the rest of the units will be dictated by pre-sales, though the project could be completed as soon as early 2012. Hawkins said he’s already sold three and is finalizing contracts on an additional seven.
The building is owned by Kanbar Properties, but River City has an option to purchase it once 50 percent of the units are pre-sold.
The property is Hawkins’ second downtown conversion project — he turned the Philtower into lofts in 2005.
The two-bedroom demo unit, designed by the McIntosh Group, Pohlenz Cucine Moderne and Campbell Design Associates Inc., features a wide-open, unified living and kitchen area, with opaque glass doors leading to walled-off bedrooms on either side.
The kitchen appliances are integrated into the minimalist metal drawers, giving a more urban feel to the room, said Doug Campbell of Tulsa-based Campbell Design, which has produced living spaces across the nation.
“We want to appeal to empty-nesters who are looking for comfort,” he said.
Hawkins said he has three goals for each unit — easy parking, soundproof walls and storage on each floor.
To cut out noise from downtown traffic and neighbors alike, he is designing the units with 10-inch-thick walls, and the original windows are being augmented with double-pane, modern windows.
As for storage, the demo unit has a long, L-shaped walk-in closet that leads to a laundry area, and each unit will have an additional storage area on the same floor.
Parking will be in the basement, with Hawkins planning to cut an entrance at street level on the Cincinnati side. He hopes to open the remaining space on the first floor to restaurants, a market and other stores for the convenience of residents.
“We’d like people to be able to stay here for two months and never have to leave,” he said.
The project includes adding a seventh floor to the building, which will have six penthouses and a workout room.
Hawkins said the building was designed to accommodate additional floors when it was built 60 years ago.
“When we got into the building, we found out that the elevator shaft was built for a seventh floor,” he said.
The center of the second floor will get a courtyard open to the sun, as well as an interior play area.